What is your title and what role do you play within your organization?
I serve as a Salt Lake County Council member. This year I am the vice-chair of the council, which is the legislative body for Salt Lake County. We approve the budget, pass ordinances, and are the policy makers for the county.
What boards do you serve on?
Chair – Jordan River Commission
Chair – Urban County Caucus
Regional Growth Commission
Prevent Child Abuse Utah
Utah Coalition Against Pornography
Wasatch Front Waste and Recycling District
Aging and Adult Services
In what other ways are you involved in the community?
Prior to my county council service, I was a small business owner doing communications/political consulting. I am the mom of four kids ranging from 12-19. This is my number one job – to teach these kids to be contributing members of society. I serve in my church as the President of the Young Women’s organization. I also serve in the Calvin Smith Elementary PTA.
Tell us your most rewarding professional experience.
I love what I do as an elected official. Being able to look at problems in our society and find solutions is very rewarding. For instance, currently we are focusing on criminal justice reform. Our jail is overcrowded and we know that programs to help those with mental illness or substance abuse issues are key. I love helping people and advocating for taxpayers. I’m always looking for ways we can cut wasteful spending and make government more effective, efficient, and transparent. I believe we need to plan and invest in our future, as our population continues to grow.
What do you see as the biggest challenge women face in business today? What is your recommendation to resolve that issue?
I have found that my biggest challenge – both as an elected official, and when I ran my small business – was to stay balanced. As women we have a variety of demands placed on us. Many of us are wives, mothers, sisters, friends, in addition to businesswomen and community leaders. It is very easy to slip into crazy work mode all the time. I believe that the more balanced a women is, the more successful she will be. That balance includes social, spiritual, emotional, and physical aspects. We have to know when to put our phones or computers away to interact with those we love most. We have to learn to prioritize and not feel compelled to get everything on our “Things to Do” list done in one day. We have to pace ourselves, or burnout is likely to happen.
What motivates you?
Seeing things accomplished motivates me. (Thus my problem with balance, in the paragraph above.) I love to see positive change happen, improvements made, and problems solved in our community. I love to check things off a list. I also love people and relationships.
What pearl of wisdom or tip would you share with young female professionals?
My tip to young female professionals is to find your voice. Sometimes it takes some time to know what that voice sounds like, and that’s okay. Be willing to speak up when necessary, but also understand when it’s appropriate to just listen. Learning to be confident in yourself and feeling good in your own skin is so important. Find what makes you tick so you can use your voice to support those causes. Be willing to show vulnerability and authenticity.